4 Tips on Improving Your Online Security

Regardless of which digital device you use—it could be a tab, mobile phone, laptop, desktop—we’re connected to the internet more often than we’d like to admit. Be it for work-related tasks, leisure-watching on OTT platforms, or connecting with our friends and loved ones on social media, we’re online for a significant chunk of our daily lives.

In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for us to actively take steps to improve our safety and security on the internet. For all the beneficial things that come with being able to access the internet, there are numerous downsides as well: these take the form of hacks, cyberattacks, phishing scams, data breaches, and so on.

In this guide, we will discuss 4 tips that can enhance your digital security online.

Tip#1: Make use of antivirus software

For both your smartphones and laptops—devices that you’re most likely to use to be online—it’s essential to have antivirus software installed that will augment your security. Antivirus software generally comes installed with any digital device that you buy, but these do not hold up when compared to more sophisticated third-party solutions.

If you think you hold a lot of sensitive information like personal identification, bank details, social security numbers, and so on digitally on either your laptop or smartphone, it becomes all the more important to invest in paid antivirus software. These tools will run in the background and give you indications whether any website you visit is dangerous, flag any problematic downloads, and in worst-case scenarios, give you protection against malware.

If you’re a MacBook user wondering if your Mac has any viruses, learn more about how you can scan mac for malware.

Tip#2: Ensure two-factor authentication on platforms that allow it

Two-factor authentication simply means that there are two layers that one must pass through before they are granted access to an account. This could be a password accompanied by a security question, fingerprint scan, or a mail/SMS sent to your mail account or phone number.

This prevents anyone who has gained access to your passwords through malicious digital practices from being able to access your account. Services like Gmail, Facebook, Apple, and other major applications give users the option to enable two-factor authentication. With such a login mechanism, apps or platforms can detect if there is any usual activity from places where you do not normally log in. It then uses the second component of the two-factor authentication process to verify that you are, in fact, yourself before any access is given.

Tip#3: Use AdBlock extensions for your web browser application

Using an AdBlock application not only prevents any annoyance or distraction that you may feel from having too many ads pop up as you visit a website, but it also makes good sense from a security standpoint. Several ads found on unsafe websites are designed in such a way that when you click on buttons or links, a virus or malware is downloaded onto your computer that compromises your security.

Although having antivirus software can do the job in terms of protection from a malware attack, it’s simply better to have an AdBlock extension that directly blocks any ad on websites. AdBlock extensions, apart from security, can also provide a better user experience on websites that show too many ads.

Tip#4: Use a VPN when you connect to any public networks

If you think that you’re someone who has to travel regularly or will be working as you move, it’s ideal to invest in a virtual private network service. Not only that, but VPNs also help with things like geo-restricted content access, which is great for video games or media.

In such a case, you might be someone who has to connect to public WiFi or access the internet through connections available at restaurants, co-working spaces, libraries, and so on.

You are then exposed to any malicious actors who make use of such shared networks to gain access to your device and steal your information, files, and documents. What a VPN service can do here is that it will encrypt your internet traffic data and also hide your IP information. Your IP address will be hidden by the VPN service provider with their own server IP address, and anyone who tries to pinpoint your location will not be able to do so.

Using a VPN service also enables you to access the internet as though you were at a different location. This, in turn, allows you to surf and access websites that are otherwise banned where you are currently at. It, therefore, becomes useful to pay for a VPN provider since you get benefits from both an access as well as a security standpoint.

So these are the 4 tips that you can implement on your digital devices for improving your safety and security online. Given the extent of data leaks, cyberattacks, and phishing attempts that we’re seeing today in the news, it has become vital for users to ensure digital and online security themselves.

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